Britain has been hailed as a gin tourism hotspot after distilleries reported seeing huge rises in international visitors.
The gin market is worth an estimated £1.9 billion with more than 66 million bottles being sold last year – almost double the number in 2016.
Fuelling this boom is an increase in the number of foreign visitors, who are flocking to the country for tasting sessions, tours of distilleries and even checking into hotels for an “immersive” weekend.
Other holidaymakers are delving into the history of the alcoholic drink and foraging for ingredients to make their own recipes.
Gin enthusiasts are flying in for a taste of the traditional tipple at such a rate that distillery guided tours are being offered in multiple foreign languages.
The Ginstitute, a renowned distillery on the world famous Portobello Road in Notting Hill, has seen their number of bookings jump by a staggering 2,000 per cent since 2015.
Built over four floors, it offers boutique rooms so tourists can settle down for the night, as well as a museum in its basement where guests can enjoy an “immersive gin history session”.
It even offers bespoke wedding packages “designed especially for betrothed gin-fans”, which involves couples making their own unique blend for their big day and a pop-up gin bar so guests can do tasting sessions.
Tom Coates, brand director, said: “As the world’s love for the gin has increased, so has it’s interest in the history of gin and how it is made.
“As such we have seen a significant increase in international tourists attending our gin experience, The Ginstitute, to learn all about the history of gin and make their very own unique blend.
“Since 2015, international visitor numbers have increased 20 times over.
“In 2016, we opened The Distillery on Portobello Road Gin which is a four floor mecca for discerning drinkers and gin lovers with two bars, a working distillery, hotel rooms and a number of experiences that include immersive dining, cocktail masterclasses and gin-making classes.
“It has been incredibly popular with visitors from both home and abroad, who will either join us for one of our experiences or simply to sample a Portobello Road Gin and tonics at one of The Distillery’s two bars.”
Beefeater Gin, one of Britain’s best-known brands, has welcomed tourists from countries across the world including Russia and Australia.
Their distillery, based in Kennington, south east London, is visited by more than 2,000 people every month.
A spokesperson told The Telegraph: “Our visitors come from all over the world, with the experience being particularly popular with tourists from the USA, Germany, France and Spain. We’ve also had a recent influx of tourists visiting from Australia, Latin America and Russia as the thirst for learning more about gin spreads worldwide.”
Sipsmith, based in Chiswick, west London, offers gin masterclasses, a sipping club and tours of their distillery.
A spokesperson told The Telegraph that increasingly more people are visiting during business trips and holidays to the UK.
And leading gin review site Gin Foundry agree that international visitors are “part and parcel” of the surge of people visiting British distilleries.
The UK tourism board has confirmed that there is a “strong interest from international travellers” in trying British gin.
Patricia Yates, the director of VisitBritain, added: “The growing and diverse range of gin distilleries and gin-inspired visitor experiences across the country, from tasting activities to trying your hand at distilling and mixing, is helping to boost Britain’s profile on the international stage as a food and drink destination.”